Re: Damn (was: Re: I love you too, Danny...)

Lloyd Wood (
Thu, 16 Apr 1998 21:36:28 +0100 (BST)

On Thu, 16 Apr 1998, Mike Masnick wrote:

> So, basically, I started putting together a cheap, less funny, US ripoff of
> NTKnow

with more textual quotes, but no literal quotes.

NTKnow has real apostrophes. That's star quality for you. No expense
spared in the production department, and tested to render on vt100s
and up.

May I (yet again) recommend:

Please turn those <92>'s into something we can read.

Lobby websites with rubbish apostrophes to do something about it.
Today I lobbied - who do you want to groan at today?

That won't insert paragraph breaks, though.

> Though, now I've gone and started building a web page around it (not done
> yet), but the archives are still available at


The best thing about NTK is that they don't tell you how they do it.

("Well, basically I stay up to 3am in the morning typing lots of stuff
and reading it out loud over the phone and if anyone else vaguely
liked the bits they were in in once I'd solicited my solicitor for
a quick check and woken him up, otherwise I'd ring someone with a
better sense of humour" would be about the size of it, I
imagine. But I have an overactive imagination, and it may be
less interesting than that and involve email.)

Anyway, telling you how it was done would be really dull, even once
they'd explained that Dave Green didn't really exist as 'he' is just
another AI program mangling copy from various anonymous freelance
London hacks, and that his midnight debate-show appearances are
undertaken by a moonlighting member of the Kraftwerk dancetroup backed
with a laughing track.

Although I may have Dave confused with Janet Street-Porter, who was
chairing that particular discussion, and my housemates, who may have
provided the laughing track.

Anyway, that particular one was JSP Old Media 1 DG New 0. But that's
what you get for holding the debate on Old Media in the first place,
and JSP couldn't hold her own in a flamewar.

You need _neutral ground_.

> Of everyone who subscribed, Rohit, was the only who felt the need to point
> out the similarities between it and NTKnow.

Q: of your sample subscriber list, how many were even aware of NTKnow?

> I've been trying (desparately) to distance it from NTKnow as much
> as possible

You'll find the Atlantic Ocean extremely helpful in this department.

Anyway, this works both ways - NTKnow only got started because Danny
and the gang tried to copy Wired here and failed [*], and so went on
to do other things.

[*] For which they have my eternal gratitude, especially for
audaciously getting Wired involved in the first place, and
therefore making it all look like Wired's fault. Now we need
someone to suggest setting up a local copy of Wired in North
Dakota to put the final nails in the coffin and confine Wired
to that small part of California where it so obviously belongs.

Death Valley, I think it's called.

Anyway, Danny has this regrettable tendency to lose his passport. No
fear of a visit from the boys.... hang on, I'm getting an idea. You
could do a newsletter in the US...

A mass-readership US version of NTKnow! Where the online market really
_is_! We'd just need to change a few things, though. Lose that
confusing highbrow intellectual stuff and drop the 'sarcastic'!
Insert lots of Seinfeld references! Review upcoming Discovery Channel
programs and give a sports roundup! With lots of Formula 1 and
wrestling right at the end so they'd read through everything else
first! And little popup explanations of technical terms! You know,
give it something of a _local_ flavour.

You know, this could be BIG. And it would be a British Export.
Taking Cool Britannia, Britannia to the world. Think MSNBC would go
for it?

Naah. It'd probably fold after a few issues and we'd go back to
telling 'em to take the British version and lump it. Which is how it
ought to be.


but you could call it 'NTKnowt'. Tell 'em that added w stands for web.
Or westerly. Or Wham! Or something.